Special Education Needs

Scoil Bhríde, Straffan strives to achieve the highest possible educational standards for all its pupils in a happy, supportive, inclusive and caring environment, with due emphasis given to the individual needs of each pupil, including those with additional learning needs.  The delivery of the Special Education in Scoil Bhríde is guided by Department of Education policy and circulars, including the Education Act (1998) and the Education for Person with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act (2004) and the most recent being the DES SEN Allocation Circular 2017.

The Special Needs Coordinator, in consultation with the Principal oversees how children with additional needs are supported throughout in the school as guided by the DES SEN Allocation Model from 2017 and on a Continuum of Support, which allows for a range of supports beginning in the classroom and working up to support from a Special Education Teacher.

SEN teachers and SNAS are allocated to the school by the Department of Education and National Council for Special Education (NCSE) based on the current needs in the school every two years. The SENO from the NCSE, allocates SNAs to children depending on their care needs.

SEN in ScoilBhríde is currently made up of four SEN Teachers and five SNAS:

SEN Teachers:   SNAS:  
Ms. McAuliffe (Special Needs Co-Ordinator), Ms. Giblin/Ms. Moran, Ms. O’Keeffe, Ms. Mangan   Mary, Pauline, Phil, Anne, Áine

Supports Available for Children with Additional Needs:

Support for children with additional needs in the school can vary from differentiation to team teaching in class, small withdrawal groups or on some occasions, one-to-one tuition.  Some of these interventions can be for a period of 6 weeks to a term, or longer all depending on the needs of the child.  

Early Intervention:

Early intervention is a key strategy in supporting children in their early learning and Scoil Bhríde places a strong emphasis on this.  From Junior Infants to Second class, Special Education teachers support class teachers with programmes such as Phonological Awareness Station Teaching, Literacy Boost Groups, Power Hour and Guided Reading, Ready Steady Maths and Numeracy Station Teaching.

What if my Child Is Struggling?

Support Plans:

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s progress, it is very important to contact your child’s class teacher directly to discuss your concerns.  The class teacher has primary responsibility for your child’s learning needs.

When a child is identified as struggling persistently with an aspect of the curriculum, the first step is:

  • The Class Teacher in consultation with parents draws up a Classroom Support Plan identifying ways in which the child can be supported in class and at home.
  • Following a period of interventions by the class teacher a child may be moved to a School Support Plan where a Special Education teacher will begin a specialized programme based on your child’s learning needs.
  • Following these interventions and if the school and the parents are still concerned about the child’s progress, the school may refer your child to the school educational psychologist called NEPS for further advice and supports to draw up a School Support Plus Plan.

For more details on Special Education in Scoil Bhríde, please see Scoil Bhríde, Straffan SEN Policy.

HSE Assessments/Private Assessments

If you have your child privately assessed by a psychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist or through the HSE, it is important that those reports are shared with the Special Needs Co-Ordinator, Ms. McAuliffe to ensure your child is supported appropriately.

If you have any questions regarding Special Education in ScoilBhríde, please don’t hesitate to contact the Special Needs Co-Ordinator, Ms. McAuliffe.

Further Information for Parents:

The following booklet is a guide for parents on how SEN is managed in the school as guided by the Department of Education:

Special Education Guidelines for Teacher on New Allocation Model

SEN Allocation Model Information for Parents

The National Council for Special Education Needs (NCSE) website which has lots of useful resources for parents with children with additional needs.  Please see below for this

NCSE Online Resources for Parents

NCSE Special Needs Assistants (SNAS)

NCSE Speech and Language Supports for Parents

NCSE Supports for General Learning Difficulties for Parents

NCSE Support for Specific Learning Difficulties for Parents

NCSE Supports for Autism Spectrum Disorder for Parents

NCSE Supports for Physical Difficulties for Parents

NCSE Supports for Emotional and or Behavioural Difficulties for Parents

NCSE Guidelines for Starting School for Parents

NCSE Guidelines for Transition from Primary to Secondary School for Parents

NCSE Guidelines for Moving Between Mainstream and Special Schools for Parents

NEPS-Supports for parents.

NEPs, the National Education Psychologists also have a range of supports on the Department of Education Website

NEPS Information for Parents

Dyslexia-Tips for Parents from NEPS

Tips for Children with Organisation Difficulties from NEPS

Cognitive Skills Tips